As we approach the ancient Celtic news years celebration that is the origins of Halloween, let's wish all your readers happy new year.
As we have noted, there are many new year's celebrations from September to April, but this celebration of our ancestors, our heritage, our year's harvest and the darkness that will bring a new spring seems to have a special place in our region's neighborhoods. It celebrates the end of summer, the coming of Yule Tide and related religious holidays, and a time to refresh ourselves for a new year.
Posted by hal, a resident of another community, on Oct 29, 2010 at 7:26 am
I received e-mail asking for an explanation of this New Year's celebration:
"The Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)" The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm."